Joe Smallbone (1911-1985) was an eccentric who lived in Fenton, Michigan. He reportedly never bathed, and was always covered in soot because of the wood-burning stove in his house. He was a hoarder and visitors to his house would have to navigate a narrow path through the stuff. However, he was also a self-taught electronics genius, and everyone in town would bring him their radios and TVs to fix.
There was only one photo ever taken of Smallbone, at the 50th reunion of his high school class. Someone cleaned him up to attend it.
Despite his oddness, the townsfolk accepted him as their local strange character. And his legend lives on today with a song and video about him created by musician Bonnie Whitehurst.
American eccentric Adam Purple died last week, at the age of 84. The NY Times says he collapsed on the walkway of the Williamsburg Bridge. We've previously noted some of his achievements here on WU. He's most famous as the "original hipster" and a "Guerrilla Gardener" who created a "Garden of Eden" on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
You know, I was actually getting into this a little bit, finding the esoteric knowledge somewhat alluring. But five parts adding up to over two hours? I'm gonna call the total program a fit candidate for our "Boring Video" competition.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.